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Today, lenders are facing pressure from all sides. Interest rates are at historic lows. Technology is reshaping customer expectations. And a global pandemic is stretching remote workforces thin and causing increased demand as more consumers seek to refinance and consolidate debt in these unprecedented times.

Even in a healthy economy, a robust resale market and increased housing start to force financial institutions to juggle managing higher demand from consumers with fast, simple, and seamless customer experiences to compete effectively. However, many institutions lack the ability to scale and respond quickly to changes in this fast-evolving industry, which is essential if they’re to improve their position and create a modern lending experience for customers.

Today’s predominantly paper-based mortgage loan origination process is plagued by costly delays and inefficiencies. Copying, faxing, scanning, printing, and manual keying of data occur at every point in the mortgage loan process. Completing the process can take over a month and a typical mortgage origination package averages about 400 to 500 pages. In 2019, mortgage processing from origination to closing was taking on an average of 45 days.

Prior to the pandemic, organizations had already begun to automate to reduce paper and manual work. A recent study by Forrester Consulting found that virtually all companies have implemented some degree of automation across front and back-office functions. For instance, most lenders have implemented a digital mortgage application, but many haven’t automated their back-office processes yet.

While lenders have provided borrowers with online access to bank statements and other loan documents, they’re in the infancy stage as they transition away from paper. This leaves many reliant on documents and manual tasks.

To become more competitive, compliant, and efficient in mortgage processing, lenders need to capture documents and information electronically to eliminate as much paper as possible, automate manual steps and workflows and reduce costs, add security and control wherever paper is required or information is transmitted, and simplify the sharing of information between business units and deliver a positive and engaging customer experience.

When the mortgage origination process is automated end-to-end, it minimizes the chance of human error, reduces the risk of compliance violations, and promotes customer cross-selling and retention – all while significantly lowering operating costs.

Even in uncertain times, lenders should work to improve the mortgage loan origination process. In March 2020, the Mortgage Bankers Association found refinance activity was up 168%, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, even as The Wall Street Journal reported an 8.5% decline in sales of previously owned homes for the month. It’s more important than ever lenders have an advanced, efficient, compliant, and customer-friendly approach to mortgage origination now and for the aftermath of this crisis.

Here are five steps lenders can take to achieve speed, efficiency, and security in automating the mortgage loan process:

1. Digitize documents at the point of origin. Don’t just scan images of related documents and manually enter the customer’s information into the system. With automation, you can use a mobile device to capture and distribute all the customer’s documents and information, transmitting it securely and automatically at the time of collection into the bank’s mortgage loan system.

2. Automate error-prone manual tasks. Speed the handling and processing of loan documents, increase accuracy and eliminate costly delays of manual rekeying with content-aware print and capture technology, automated data extraction, document type identification, image correction and clean up blank page removal, and double-sided scanning.

3. Accept documents from any input source. Missing documents shouldn’t be a cause for delay. Allow the customer to send the needed document any time from any input source: scanner, email, fax, web forms, mobile, and others.

4. Improve customer experience. Features such as auto-filling of loan application fields, automated data capture from scanned images, instant document transfer from branches to central offices, and continual visibility into loan status increase accuracy and offer customers the digital experience they desire.

5. Simplify compliance. Leveraging content-aware print and capture technology will also ensure documents containing NPI and PII can’t be scanned, copied, printed, emailed, or faxed without authorization. And extend this same level of security to mobile devices and remote workforces.

Now and in the post-COVID world, those continuing to rely on antiquated paper-based, manual processes and partial automation will find it difficult to compete against those that have successfully completed a digital transformation of their operations. Leverage automation and transform the mortgage loan origination process and begin working like the digitally enabled bank of tomorrow, today.

At PrologiQ, we have a competent team that can support you with various aspects of mortgage origination. Talk to us today and allow us to help you with your mortgage processing. Reach us at marketing@prologiq.in